'80% Disappearance Cases In SL Point Finger At Tigers' - Govt

Eighty per cent of the complaints of forced disappearance made to the Sri Lankan Presidential Commission of Disappearances, blame the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), according to a well-placed source in the Presidential Secretariat.

 

Quoting members of the commission, the official told Express that majority of the complaints from Tamils in the Northern Province pertained to children being abducted by the LTTE to fight its war against the Lankan forces.

However, Tamil media reporters who had covered the sittings of the disappearances panel in Kilinochchi and Jaffna, reported an overwhelming majority of the complaints were against the Sri Lankan army and their Tamil auxiliaries.

At a meeting of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs and members of the Northern Provincial Council held in Jaffna on Friday, it has been announced that the Tamil National Alliance was not satisfied with the functioning of the panel.

A resolution passed by the meeting said, while the panel was sitting in Kilinochchi, a group of state agents were trying to persuade complainants to accept Death Certificates and close the case.

New Mass Grave

Another mass grave has been unearthed at Udayarkattu in Mullaitivu district. When a housewife, P Vanitha, was building her house, she discovered a buried skeleton and informed police. On an order from local magistrate Paranjothi, the police have so far dug out nine skeletons. According to Jaffna District Judicial Medical Officer, Dr Sinniah Sivaroopan, the bodies seem to be that of civilians.

However,  military spokesman Brig Ruwan Wanigsooriya said it is irresponsible for anyone to make such a charge and pointed out that the LTTE had its forward defence lines in that area in 2009. This has taken the number of skeletons recovered from mass graves near Thiruketheeswaram to 80.

Meanwhile, the US Country-wise Human Rights report for 2013, has mentioned that there was no accountability for “thousands of disappearances” in SL. Speaking on the report, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “the government has still not answered the basic demands for accountability and reconciliation, where attacks on civil society activists, journalists and religious minorities sadly still continue.”  - P.K. Balachandran (ENS)

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